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Cheap Efficient Shower Head

 
steward
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I know that some people on this forum are going soap/shampoo less, but I still feel the need to use soap, especially after my run. Unfortunately, as pointed by others most of the time in the shower is spent putting soap on and wasting water for no real other purpose than keeping me warm. So I found that the best way for me to save water and energy (not time) was to turn off the water when putting soap on. Of course I am not actually turning the taps off, but using one of these (link to Amazon):



As you can see on the picture, there is a on/off switch on the shower head. I do not find that pressure is wierd with mine as I have seen with some shower heads. I still have to solve the cold issue to convince my wife to do the same in the winter though
 
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The link's not working for me - try this one...

Water Saving Showerhead

 
steward
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Want. Thanks for the link, Adrien and Burra.

Adrien, I might have some tips for your wife in the winter. I still use soap, too, and sometimes struggle with turning off the water while I soap up.

In our defense, women have lower metabolisms than men (in general terms), so we get cold easier. PLUS, women's skin has more nerve endings per square inch, so we truly are more sensitive.

Tips:
  • shower later in the morning or day if possible (first thing in the morn, when tired and just out of bed means I'm FAR more cold sensitive)
  • shower hot enough that the heat remains in the skin during the turn off time (okay, not so eco perhaps, but if still reducing total hot water use, I think it pencils out)
  • turn the heat up in the bathroom, perhaps temporarily
  • protect against drafts - close any doors or windows, I even block off the bottom of my shower curtain with shampoo bottles to prevent drafting in caused by the shower fan

  • If I'm achy all over from eating the wrong foods, that's another reason I have a hard time keeping the shower short. So, feeling good and lively without or before a shower sure helps.

    This shower head will really help! Thanks again!
     
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    There are a couple versions of these out there. The new one sold at big box stores is mostly plastic. But the old all-metal one is still available at old-school hardware chain stores like Ace or True Value (which I just bought a month or two ago).

    The downside to these is they need strong water pressure to make a good shower. If you don't have good pressure it will remind you of a Seinfield episode.

     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Amazon suggested another showerhead with an on/off push button, which I'm going to try: Ultra Saver Showerhead, 1.5 GPM.



    This first one, linked above, while $2 cheaper (today any way), says it's 2.5 GPM.

     
    Adrien Lapointe
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    It sounds fancier than the one I have!

    Amazon.com wrote:Pressure compensating flow regulator provides constant flow over range of pressures.

    I wonder if that would solve the pressure problem mentionned by R Scott.
     
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    We use these, they are great. The cheap one wears out and eventually leaks from the sides
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    joseph wittenberg wrote:We use these, they are great. The cheap one wears out and eventually leaks from the sides



    Nice to hear! Though do you mean the cheap plastic one (as R. Scott referred to) or a cheap metal one?

    Both the Amazon links in this thread are brass (metal) with a chrome finish. It's hard to imagine the metal ones leaking, but I suppose they could. At $10 or $12 each, and potential savings of gallons of hot water each shower, I wonder how long it should last to make fiscal sense. I imagine not too long at that price. Anybody have numbers on that handy?
     
    Adrien Lapointe
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    From a quick Internet search it seems that 2.5 gpm is now standard for shower head, so I will use this as a baseline. Let's say that we take a 10 min shower with such a shower head, we are using 25 gallons of water. Assuming we take a shower every day that is 9125 gal. Wow!

    Now, if we have a shower head with the same flow rate but with the on/off button and we only need 3 min with the water on we are using 7.5 gal per shower and 2737.5 gal per year. That is a difference of 6387.5 gal in one year.

    I am not sure what the selling price is per gal as we don't pay directly for our water here (rolled in our house taxes), but my guess is that it could save some money, especially for a family. I like the savings in term of water though.
     
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    You could do a space heater in the bathroom that is timed to turn on 15 minutes before you take your shower, if your bathroom is big enough to host one that is. Might help with the cold issues.
     
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    How about an aerated shower head - http://www.ecocamel.com/products/shower-heads - not used them but sounds useful!
    Quote from site - Independent testing at Liverpool John Moores University demonstrated average water savings of 40% compared to standard shower heads. This translates to a saving of around 56,000 litres of water a year, based on a family of four taking a daily seven-minute shower.
     
    pollinator
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    I have these shower heads on all my showers (4). They make quite a difference in water use, especially when being used simultaneously. Best of all, they give an invigorating shower with low pressure (with high pressure they can flay the skin off of you). The better ones come with two or more discs, with different patterns to match your conditions and preference.

    They do need periodic cleaning with a delimer. When the spray pattern gets irregular, it is time for cleaning. Often, only the disc needs cleaning (cheap discs will deteriorate and will need replacing). My girls recently let theirs get to where it choked the water off almost entirely, before they finally let me know. I had to soak it overnight.

    When the local water company replaced our mains with larger pipe, the pressure dropped. With these shower heads, I hardly noticed, while many neighbors complained.

    Regarding the on/off valve, I use it often, but not always, and no one else in the family is inclined to use it. I have considered self-closing valves but never really looked into it seriously. If water use ever became a problem, I think that would be the way to go, along with low-flow shower heads.

    My father was in the Merchant Marine in WWII and he learned how to take a 3-minute shower with 30 seconds of water. He tried to teach his 8 kids the same (30 gallons of hot water doesn't make it very far into 10 showers), but we rarely complied-- except when we were last in line.
     
    gardener
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    Old thread, I know, but this http://www.instructables.com/id/Cozy-Low-Energy-Shower/?ALLSTEPS is directly relevant to the cold issue raised in this thread.
     
    Andrew Parker
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    Interesting article. Thanks for posting it. One thought on it. Would it really matter if you used an aerating low-flow shower head, once the air inside the enclosed stall reached 100% humidity?
     
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